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My Starter Is Not Foaming?


Jul 24, 2009
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Corpus Christi TX
I made a starter last night, 1 quart of water, 3.5 oz of DME, 1/4 teaspoon nutrient boiled for 10 minutes and pitched the Wyeast 1056 smack pack.  The brix of the starter was 7.8 (1.031).  It has been on the stir plate for about 18 hours with no high krausen, which is unusual as the last starter hit high krausen in less than 6 hours.  I took another sample and measure right at 5 brix.  I dont have a LHBS and have all my stuff shipped.  The yeast pack was warm when it arrived but so was the last yeast pack that I received and it did very well.  The only difference between this starter and the last starter is volume.  I did a 2 quart starter last time with about a 1.035 gravity. Do you think they are dead?  Should I go ahead and pitch even though there doesnt seem to be high activity?  Let it go all the way, decant and do another starter, try to build up the yeast?  I dont know where to go.


Forum Moderator
Grandmaster Brewer
Aug 25, 2008
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Enough cells are living that they ate 1/3 of the Brix readings, from 7.8 down to 5.0. 

But perhaps many are dead.  I would let it ride to a terminal FG, hopefully between 2.0 and 2.5?  It may take longer since fewer are working. 

If you get there, perhaps re-pitch the yeast slurry into a fresh 1QT starter to re-double the cells. 

Since you are w/o a local store, try to keep some dry yeast on hand.  Safale US-05 is the same strain as 1056, supposedly.  If you don't need specific, noticeable yeast character, dry yeast is a great option on many styles.  I've used Nottingham, Windsor, US-05 and S-04 with good results.